Leicester City and Everton played out an enticing 2-2 draw in the Premier League at the King Power Stadium on Monday night. The draw carries the hosts out of the relegation zone but given the size of this bottom-of-the-table clash, this point could end up costing both clubs come the end of the season.
There was fight from both sides which both sets of supporters will take hope from but with so much at stake in a six-pointer such as this, you cannot afford to draw and pray you get the points you need from elsewhere - particularly in Everton’s case who remain in 19 and in huge danger of going down.
We were treated to an enthralling first half filled with action as the relegation six-pointer lived up to the billing. Leicester started strongly but it was in fact Everton who opened the scoring against the run of play, courtesy of a penalty.
Captain Seamus Coleman put a delightful ball into the path of Dominici Calvert-Lewin and the striker was pushed in the back by Timothy Castagne. The forward stepped up and converted the spot-kick in front of the travelling supporters as the home crowd were silenced.
The hosts fought to get themselves back in the contest and it didn’t take them long to equalise as Caglar Soyuncu squirmed his effort past Jordan Pickford following a corner and the Foxes’ tails were up.
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It has been a poor year for Leicester which has been epitomised by age catching up with legendary striker Jamie Vardy. However, it was as though time had reversed as the attacker scored what has come to be known as a trademark Vardy goal.
After a quick turnover, Vardy was set away by James Maddison and he made his run in between the two centre backs and he showed he still had the pace to go one-on-one with Pickford, before rounding him and slotting into an empty net. Fantastic Mr Fox doing what he does best when Leicester needed it most.
The most crushing part for Everton was that Calvert-Lewin should’ve restored their lead just seconds before as he scuppered a chance for a tap-in from a few yards because he got his body positioning all wrong. Vardy’s blistering pace almost led to him netting his second of te game but his chipped effort hit the crossbar.
The Toffees were then delivered a huge blow when Coleman had to be stretchered off after suffering a nasty injury from a Boubakary Soumare challenge - and from the replay it looks like that might bring an end to the 34-year-old’s career.
Leicester had the opportunity to double their advantage just before the break when Michael Keane was penalised for handball in the box. Maddison took the ball away from Youri Tielemans and tried to fool Pickford by going down the middle, only for the goalkeeper to guess correctly and keep him out.
The penalty save spurred Everton on after the interval and Alex Iwobi levelled the match with a drilled volley into the bottom corner. The end-to-end action raged on but the home crowd getting behind Leicester helped and the Foxes looked the most threatening.
Both teams will know that a draw doesn’t really do much for them. Everton remain in the bottom three and Leicester are only above the drop zone because of goal difference. - but the Toffees are still just one point behind them.
Leicester will feel that they should’ve capitalised on their home advantage but they also had to thank goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, who made several vital stops that ensured they did leave with a point. One thing is for certain, this battle for survival is nowhere near over.